Applying for a visa can be quite stressful – you have to put together a range of important documents while ensuring that you meet the eligibility criteria. However, being properly informed can significantly ease the process.
That being said, today we will talk about the new online form for spouse visa applications under FLR(M) and FLR(FP).
What Is the Difference?
The FLR(FP) application is based on Family Life under the Appendix FM or the Private Life under Part 7 and stands for the further leave to remain in these two categories.
- Family life
This category includes the right to apply as a parent of a child that is settled and not eligible to apply as a partner. The child can be British, for example. This is usually recommended when parents are divorced and the child lives with one of the foreign spouses.
There are also some exceptions if you apply for this kind of visa if you don’t have legal status in the UK, but you have a British child with your partner. If that’s the case, then the child is allowed to stay in the UK. However, this a special case. That’s why each situation is evaluated individually.
So, to cut the long story short, in order to qualify for this category, you be a parent, partner or a dependent child. Also, you can apply based on your private life in the United. If the application is approved, it will last for 2.5 years.
- Private life
Although it has the same form, this kind of application is representative for the people who spent years in the UK and now want to legalize their stay. If approved, you will get a 2.5-year visa in a 10-year route. After ten years, you will have the possibility to secure your permanent residency.
The FLR(M) is an application that is based on the marriage of an individual to a person that is already settled in the UK, under the Appendix FM. However, it is not enough to be married to an English citizen to get this permission. In order to do so, you will have to meet all the requirements, including your status in the UK and the Financial Requirement. If the requests are met, then you will get a 2.5-year in the 5-year partner route.
Now that we know what these visas are, let’s talk about the new online form for them.
First of all, you can use the online form as an alternative to the paper forms because it is obviously quicker to use. You will no longer have to manually type down all the data like you would with a paper form, so the process will be faster.
With this online application, you can apply to remain in the UK as a partner or a family member of:
- a person who has a humanitarian protection in the UK or a refugee leave
- a British citizen
- a person who is settled in the UK
Moreover, you can add other family members that are dependent on you in your application such as children, for example. All of you can now apply on the same online application.
In addition, you can use this form to apply for private life in the UK, too. However, before you do so, you must know if you are eligible, what documents are required and what fees you must pay.
Well, for a start, it’s normal to say that you must prove if you are married or in a civil partnership. Maybe you are a fiancé, or you proposed, and your marriage will begin soon (6 months after you arrived in the UK). In any case, it is important for your relationship to be recognized by the UK.
Another requirement is the knowledge of English. You want to live in the UK, so you must prove that you are capable of speaking their language.
Finally, you will have to show if you are financially independent or you depend on someone.
However, you can still apply for a visa even if you don’t meet these requirements. These are the special situations we talked about earlier.
How to Apply?
Before you start the actual application process, you should take the time to familiarise yourself with the eligibility criteria. If you are not in the UK and want to apply from outside, you will need to complete the Appendix 2 and visit this link, that will get you through.
If you live in the UK, you can apply online at this link.
Your next question might be: how long will it take until a decision is made? This depends on several factors. Still, as a rule of thumb, if you apply outside of the UK, it can last approximately 12 weeks. Meanwhile, if you apply online in the UK, it may last roughly eight weeks. However, it’s worth noting that the application process could be prolonged if your case is more complex. To be more precise, considering that you don’t meet the minimum income requirement, or you cannot demonstrate your knowledge of the English language, it might take longer than eight to twelve weeks.
The following question is: when will you be permanently settled? If you apply today, the earliest you will be able to apply for UK settlement is only after five years of permissive stay as a partner.
These being said, is the new online form more convenient? In our opinion, we think it is. Essentially, the new online form for spouse visa applications under FLR(M) and FLR(FP) is a more effective way to apply for a visa in the UK, as it significantly simplifies this process. Not to mention the fact that it is obviously a faster method because you don’t have to manually write all the personal data on a paper. Since we all lead busy lifestyles, this is definitely reassuring. Also, it is more secure.
That’s because you can now pay the visa fee when you are completing the form, so there is no need to worry about any bounced cheque or credit card payment that may lead to a possible rejection. So, if you wish to prevent this scenario from happening, choosing the new online form would make more sense.